Windsor’s Ashley Newton describes her career path as a bit of a circuitous one.
“I’m currently working in the tech industry,” Ashley explains. “However, I didn’t initially go into this sector. When I was in university, I studied the Humanities.”
After graduating, Ashley started working with nonprofits.
“I decided it wasn’t a good fit,” Ashley recalls. “But, a few years after I graduated, I discovered that I was interested in software development. The way that I think aligned with a lot of the methodologies and principles that are valued in that field. So, I decided that was the direction I wanted to move in.”
As Ashley struggled to break into her new field, she decided to lean on one of her talents.
“I have a passion for writing,” Ashley states. “And solid experience in that field. So, I was able to use my writing skills to get my foot in the door, working as a technical writer.”
After working as a Freelance Technical Writer and taking on small web development projects for a number of years, Ashley secured a position as a Senior Technical Writer at SaltStack, a company based out of Utah.
But after years of remote work, Ashley moved to Windsor with her husband to set down her roots in YQG. And after years working as a technical writer, she was eventually able to break into her dream job.
“I’m so excited to finally be working a dedicated software developer role!” Ashley beams. “And it’s here, in Windsor! I’m working at Integrity Tool & Mold, Inc. as a Client Side Developer.”
Ashley credits her career evolution to her years of technical writing, a field that, she explains, relies on the connectivity and strength of its community.
“As a whole, technical writing and software documentation is a field open to people from lots of different backgrounds,” Ashley stresses. “It’s a domain that’s very non-prescriptive. It’s very important to always be researching new ways you can better reach your audience. There’s always new tools and practices being introduced. That’s why it’s so important to connect with other technical writers. That’s part of the purpose of the upcoming Write the Docs event.”
Write the Docs is a global community of people who care about documentation. The organization boasts conferences on 3 continents and local meetups in over 40 cities. Their official website encapsulates their mission statement beautifully: they offer “a global community of Documentarians to share information, discuss ideas and work together to improve the art of the documentation.”
And now, on Monday, February 22nd at 7 pm, Ashley is organizing the next Write the Docs Detroit-Windsor Meetup!
“As a global organization, we do regional meetups every so often,” Ashley explains. “So, we at the Detroit-Windsor chapter are going to host a meetup. But, it’s going to be open to members from all other chapters in the East Coast time zone.”
Write the Docs Detroit-Windsor is hosting a meetup on Monday, February 22nd at 7 pm.
The topic for the meetup will address documentation in open source software. The event will include a moderated discussion, as well as networking with small breakout groups.
The speaker for the event is Kathy Korevec, the Senior Director of Product Management at GitHub and leader of their Documentation Team.
Kathy has an engineering background, and has always been a maker at heart with a passion for technology. She’s played a critical role in the creation of new products, such as Heroku’s developer dashboard and enterprise workflow management systems.
But ultimately, Ashley describes one of the meetup group’s goals as a way to help her fellow career changers and women in tech find some direction.
“In all of the jobs I’ve had as a technical writer, I was always trying to take on lots of new challenges,” Ashely explains. “I was always trying to learn the same tools that the developers were using. I tried to contribute as much code as I can. So, technical writing was a way for me to get my foot in the door. With this event, I hope I can help other people like me, who didn’t figure out what they wanted to do before. It’s a way to help people who have soft skills and want to learn more hard skills.”
More information on the Write the Docs Detroit-Windsor meetup can be found at www.meetup.com/write-the-docs-detroit-windsor